Memorial Park Yawner; Ladyfinger in Pitchfork; Speed! Nebraska showcase tonight; Record Store Day tomorrow…

Category: Blog — @ 6:17 pm April 17, 2009

The city announced that this year’s “youth concert” in Memorial Park will be June 6, and the headliner will be Gomez, a band that hasn’t had a hit record in 10 years and would likely be playing Slowdown or The Waiting Room if this “opportunity” hadn’t presented itself. According to Kevin Coffey’s OWH article, Fahey worked with “a St. Louis-based talent scout to line up bands.” It’s not as if Fahey didn’t have other promotional options locally — i.e., One Percent Productions, who at least could have found someone who has put out a decent record this century. Needless to say, booking a show like the Memorial Park gig probably needs to be done a year in advance — as in right now for next summer — if you want someone with a broad appeal but that still targets a younger demographic, such as Wilco, Death Cab, Belle and Sebastian, Morrissey, PJ Harvey, MGMT, etc.

Depending on the weather, I suspect this will be one of the least-attended of the park concerts. Having been to all four previous events, the largest hands-down was 311 in 2004, followed by Feist last year, Bright Eyes in ’06 and Plain White T’s in 2007 where fewer than 3,000 people showed up (despite the city’s estimate of 10k, which was pure malarkey).

Now the big question: What local bands (if any) will open? Last year The Good Life did a controversial set that was the highlight of the evening. If the city could get The Faint, they might be able to draw a sizable crowd both locally and from out of state. Too bad The Faint has a moratorium on outdoor shows. Wonder who decides…

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Pitchfork has weighed in on Ladyfinger’s Dusk with a 6.2 — a rating that’s par for the course for almost all Saddle Creek releases (read it here). The summary: “Ladyfinger (ne) are obviously a talented bunch, but they’re trying to crack open the rock ‘n’ roll firmament with ball-peen hammers, chiseling grooves without making any real breakthroughs. Which is fine in therapy, but not if you’re rocking with your cock out. So to speak.” The writer’s assessment would hold more water if she could get the names of the songs correct: It’s “Plans” not “Plums.”

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Tonight at O’Leaver’s, Speed! Nebraska is welcoming its two newest bands to the label: Wagon Blasters and Techlepathy. Both bands are kind of connected to the label — Wagon Blasters’ frontman Gary Dean Davis runs Speed! Nebraska with help from Techlepathy’s Lincoln Dickison (read about the label here). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Des Moines’ band North of Grand plays at The 49’r with live karaoke rockers Girl Drink Drunk. Down at Slowdown Jr., Midwest Dilemma headlines a show with Anniversaire, Cameron McGill And What Army and McCarthy Trenching. $7, 9 p.m.

As mentioned yesterday, tomorrow is Record Store Day at all Homer’s locations, Drastic Plastic and The Antiquarium. I’m told that as part of the event, The Antiquarium will be giving away copies of Fullblown’s Agents of Entropy CD with any purchase. Nice. Performers Far Beyond Frail, Brad Hoshaw and Matt Cox will be doing in-stores at the Old Market Homer’s starting at 1 p.m.

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